Learning Experience 10: Deciding What to Teach: Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual
    Footnotes

    “Learning Experience 10: Deciding What to Teach: Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual,” New-Teacher Training Resource: A Teacher-Improvement Companion to the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook (2016)

    “Learning Experience 10,” New-Teacher Training Resource

    Learning Experience 10

    Deciding What to Teach: Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual

    Overview

    This learning experience covers the following concepts:

    • An introduction to the teacher manual

    • Adopting and adapting the curriculum

    • Using the teacher manual and the scriptures to prepare a lesson

    woman reading scriptures

    Key Concepts

    Sister Murray has enjoyed teaching a Gospel Doctrine class a couple of times each month in her ward. While she is excited to be a newly called seminary teacher, she wonders how she will prepare an effective lesson every day: “Preparing and teaching a lesson every day seems like a huge commitment. What resources are available to help me?”

    Introduction to the Teacher Manual

    Preparing a lesson every weekday can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task.

    video icon
    Watch the video “Introduction to the Teacher Manual” (4:01), available on LDS.org. In this video, you will learn how to use the scriptures and the teacher manual to prepare lessons effectively and efficiently.

    Note: If you have not yet received a teacher manual, contact your supervisor. You can also find all manuals on lds.org/si/institute/manuals for institute manuals and lds.org/si/seminary/manuals for seminary manuals.

    Teacher Manual Activity

    Note: Each lesson in the seminary and institute teacher manuals is organized to help you prepare effectively. Not all teacher manuals are organized or labeled the same way, but similar material is available in all teacher manuals. The activities in this learning experience are based on the most recent seminary manuals.

    handout icon
    Open your teacher manual to any lesson or use the handout titled “Sample Lesson—3 Nephi 11:1–17” that is provided in the appendix of this manual.

    Read through the lesson and look for the following elements. When you have identified each element, check it off on the following list:

    • Lesson title

      The lesson title indicates the scripture chapters covered in the lesson.

    • Scripture block introduction

      The scripture block introduction gives an overview of the context and content of the scripture block.

    • Verse groupings and contextual summary statements

      Verse groupings state a specific range of verses that focus on a particular topic or action. Contextual summary statements summarize the events or teachings within a verse grouping.

    • Lesson body

    • Statements of doctrine or principle

      Statements of doctrine or principle are brief statements of scriptural truths.

    • Commentary and background information and supplemental teaching ideas (these may not be in every lesson)

      The commentary and background information provides additional quotations and explanations of historical context or scripture passages. Supplemental teaching ideas provide suggestions for teaching doctrine and principles that may not be identified or emphasized in the body of the lesson. They may also provide suggestions for using visual media, such as DVD presentations or videos found on LDS.org.

    Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning in the Teacher Manual

    The seminary and institute teacher manuals are designed to help you incorporate the Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning as you prepare and teach each lesson.

    video icon
    Watch the video “The Fundamentals in the Curriculum” (2:15), available on LDS.org. As you watch, look for how the seminary and institute teacher manuals help teachers incorporate the Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning in each lesson.

    Adopt and Adapt the Curriculum

    President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency taught the following regarding how teachers should use seminary and institute curriculum materials:

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks

    “We first adopt, then we adapt. If we are thoroughly grounded in the prescribed lesson that we are to give, then we can follow the Spirit to adapt it” (“A Panel Discussion with Elder Dallin H. Oaks” [Seminaries and Institutes of Religion satellite broadcast, Aug. 7, 2012]).

    As seminary and institute teachers, we adopt the curriculum in the teacher manual and adapt it to meet our students’ needs.

    Adopt

    Adapt

    Adopting the curriculum means reading and immersing yourself in the scriptures and the prescribed lesson in your teacher manual. The curriculum helps you understand the scriptures, the intent of the inspired scripture authors, the converting principles, and basic doctrine. Trust the content and use it in your classroom.

    Adapting the curriculum means you customize the lesson as the Spirit directs in order to meet the needs of individual students and to help them succeed.

    Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual to Prepare a Lesson

    As you use your teacher manual effectively, you can prepare edifying lessons that don’t require hours of preparation time.

    video icon
    Watch the video “Curriculum Overview” (4:45), available on LDS.org. This video summarizes how using your scriptures and the teacher manual together can help you prepare effective lessons for your students.

    video icon
    Watch the video “Using the Scriptures and the Teacher Manual” (5:11), available on LDS.org. In this video, Sister Wilson shares important counsel about using the scriptures and curriculum together in lesson preparation. As you watch, look for important ideas to remember as you prepare your lessons.

    Lesson Preparation Activity

    handout icon
    Now it’s your turn to use your scriptures and your teacher manual to practice preparing a lesson. Open your teacher manual to any lesson or use the handout titled “Sample Lesson—3 Nephi 11:1–17” that is provided in the appendix of this manual.

    As you complete the following steps, check them off to indicate that you have completed that part of your preparation.

    • Read the lesson title and turn to the block in your scriptures.

    • Read the scripture block introduction.

    • Immerse yourself in the scripture block by reading, studying, pondering, and praying for inspiration.

    • Study the lesson body, paying close attention to statements of doctrine and principle.

    • Consider the needs of your students and decide what principles they need most.

    • Determine how much emphasis you will place on various principles, based on your students’ needs.

    • Read any supplemental material provided in the lesson and consider how you might use this material in your lesson.

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    Be prepared to discuss this experience with your inservice leader or group.

    Summary and Application

    Principles to Remember

    The scriptures are your source for teaching material, and the teacher manual is your resource for preparing your lesson.

    • The curriculum is organized in a way to help you prepare lessons effectively and efficiently.

    • You can adopt and adapt the curriculum to meet students’ needs.

    • As you adapt the curriculum, carefully consider your students’ needs and the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

    • You can meet students’ needs as you prepare lessons using the curriculum effectively.

    Elder Henry B. Eyring

    “Those called by the prophet to assure the correctness of doctrine taught in the Church review every word, every picture, every diagram in that curriculum which you receive. We can unlock the power of the curriculum simply by acting on our faith that it is inspired of God. …

    “Sticking with the content of the curriculum as well as its sequence will unlock our unique teaching gifts, not stifle them” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Lord Will Multiply the Harvest” [evening with a General Authority, Feb. 6, 1998], 4, 5).

    “Therefore, What?”

    To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.